A contract with the US federal government can be quite profitable for your business. However, it does come with certain responsibilities. As a federal contractor, you have to ensure that you don’t discriminate against your employees for reasons like gender identity, race, and religion. You might also be required to develop some affirmative action plans. The enforcement of these laws is overseen by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
In this article, we will get into the fundamentals of OFCCP compliance that you should know about. Let’s start with understanding what OFCCP is.
What is OFCCP?
Operating within the Department of Labor, OFCCP is a civil rights agency promoting diversity in the workplace. Its job is to ensure that employees aren’t discriminated against race, religion, color, disability, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and protected veteran status.
Businesses have to treat all their employees and job applicants equally. This includes finding candidates, recruiting, advancement, compensation, layoffs, and demotions.
Documents needed to maintain your OFCCP compliance and federal contract
If you are qualified for a federal contractor, you have to maintain all the data regarding your employment records and personnel decisions along with up-to-date AAPs (Affirmative Action Plans). Also, you should regularly analyze this data to monitor for any red flags.
Certain contractors are obligated to create an annual written AAP. According to 41 CFR 60-2.1(b), every non-construction contractor with over 50 employees has to create a written affirmative action program. If you have multiple establishments, you must have one for each of them. Every employee in your workforce must be included in the AAP they work at. By following through on your AAP, you can support compliance. It is best that you hire a qualified consultant who can help create the plan.
Apart from this, you must also have detailed records of your personnel activity. From time to time, you have to make sure that your workforce representation is up to the expected availability. It will also help ensure that your annual placement goals are established. Another aspect to focus on is specific analyses to complete and evaluate your progress in meeting utilization goals established by the government for individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. It is up to you to decide whether you want to conduct the analysis internally or seek outside assistance.
Acts that you should know about
1. Executive Order 11246
This act is applicable to all federal contractors that have a government contract of over $10,000. It prohibits you to discriminate against your employees on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and national origin. For contractors with grants of over $50,000, a written AAP is required.
2. Section 503
Section 503 is applicable to contracts that exceed $15,000 and requires the contractors to ensure that their employees are not discriminated against on the basis of disability. Contractors with a contract of over $50,000 have to write an AAP for individuals with disabilities.
VEVRAA or the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act is applicable to contracts of over $150,000 and requires the employees to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of protected veteran status.
Ensuring compliance with OFCCP regulations can be overwhelming. If you feel the same, it is best that you take the help of a qualified consultant so that you can comply with OFCCP compliance and maintain your federal contract.
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